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PA Drivers: Keep Both Hands on the Wheel!

Studies on distracted driving seem to be dominating the news.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 15 people die, and 1,200 more are injured, nationwide every day due to an accident caused by a distracted driver.  While cellphone use is the primary focus of distracted driving campaigns, a new study found that when a driver has just one hand on the steering wheel the risk of an accident increases.

In a study conducted using a driving simulator in Great Britain, researchers at the University of Leeds found that people who eat while driving have a reaction time that is 44 percent slower than those who have both hands on the wheel.  The report, “Two Hands are Better Than One,” also found that drivers who sip coffee while behind the wheel are 22 percent slower in their reaction speed and were 18 per cent more likely be unable to maintain a steady central lane position.

“Results from these driving simulator tests give great cause for concern and indicate how dangerous it is for motorists to engage in activities that involve driving with just one hand on the wheel,” said Mike Pickard, Head of Risk and Underwriting at Esure car insurance, sponsors of the study.

The researchers found that when drivers had just one hand on the wheel but were not engaged in a secondary task, they were able to maintain the same level of performance as when driving with both hands.  The findings indicate that the poor performance was due to the additional visual demand experienced with drinking and eating such as unwrapping the food or tipping the bottle up in order to drink from it.

Texting while driving is illegal in Pennsylvania now.  It is doubtful that activities such as eating, drinking or applying makeup while driving will be outlawed, but it is critical that motorists be aware that anytime they look away from the road they introduce the possibility of crashing.

Our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys urge all PA drivers to keep both hands on the wheel while driving and stay focused.  Taking a few extra minutes to grab a bite to eat before getting behind the wheel may keep you from being involved in an accident.

About Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., has offices throughout Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Stroudsburg, Carbondale, Plains, Hazleton and Hamlin. To contact the law firm, call (800) 318-LAW1 or use the firm’s online contact form.

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